Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I listened carefully to my colleagues' comments on section 18. The government responded to concerns and even criticisms raised about this provision by moving amendments. The government put a great deal of emphasis on advertisement, but there is still some work to be done here.
That's why my colleagues and I put forward much more substantial amendments that help the Chief Electoral Officer regain his powers. We want the Chief Electoral Officer to be able to implement information programs and thereby communicate to the public any information he deems necessary to ensure that elections are conducted properly and that people participate in them.
As for the amendment I am now talking about, I heard Mr. Scott add a paragraph (f). We did something very similar. We want the wording to be the following:
(1.1) the Chief Electoral Officer may
(a) implement public education and information programs to make the electoral process better known to the public, particularly to those persons and groups most likely to experience difficulties in exercising their right to vote.
We are also adding to that section another paragraph, which I will refer to as (b):
devise and test, in cooperation with the committees of the Senate and House of Commons that normally consider electoral matters—including studies respecting alternative voting means—an electronic voting process for future use in a general election or a by-election.
Let's be daring, let's be modern and help as many people as possible vote.
In closing, I would like to present an important point of view, that of the Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand. What he told us is actually very much in line with everyone's concerns. He said the following:
I am unaware of any democracy in which such limitations are imposed on the electoral agency, and I strongly feel that an amendment in this regard is essential.
We are responding to that statement by putting forward this amendment.
As this is probably the only amendment I will discuss this evening, I would like to hear my colleagues' opinion. So I am calling for a recorded division on this issue.